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Chuks Udo Okonta
The development of people-friendly products will help attract and accommodate individuals in the micro pension sector, the Managing Director, IEI-Anchor pension Fund Managers Limited, Glory Etaduovie, has posited.
He stated this in a paper entitled, Micro Pension – A Further Tool of Financial Inclusion, adding that IEI-Anchor Pension Fund Managers is working on products that will appeal to the people in the sector, adding that reaching out and educating them remain paramount importance to the firm.
He maintained that the mode of achieving this is very important as well. as it has to be both creative and sensitive.
“Like most, if not all of the PFAs, internal structures are largely in place already. These include closely monitoring the Regulator’s ‘dance’ steps and domiciling same in our company. Staffing and a robust ICT network is being enhanced. Remember that, those in the micro pension sector constitute no less than 60 per cent of the population. There is also a growing tilt towards increasing entrepreneurial drive, as the direct jobs are decreasing. It is thus a larger untapped market,” he said.
He applauded the National Pension Commission (PenCom) for the micro pension initiative which he said would help create robust financial future for people in the informal sector. According to him, “PenCom has done well so far. It is a new learning needing to be domiciled. They have had to wade through un-structured parts to create in-routes for Industry path and public assimilation and integration. Change pioneering and buy-ins are amongst most difficult things to achieve. This is through the Micro pension plans. It is for individual professionals, artisans, retail or individual entrepreneurs, farmers amongst others,” added.
Etaduovie said micro pension has become an invaluable tool to bridge the terrible deficit in financial inclusion and its ripple effects, as there is no plans for aging and retirement in the unstructured business circles – whether with official retirement age or not. Often, no retirement age in this sector but reduced business activities due to reducing energy and health issues, he said.
He identified benefits from the plan to include, good feelings of not being left out in mainstream events, but a platform to be involved; a platform to be listened to and get structured regular information; a platform for the options of informed choices, a platform for positive relationships, and overall enhancements.